Top ten global news stories

by Anna Cabe
Online Content Editor

1. On Aug. 21, rebels took the Libyan capital of Tripoli after six months of fighting with leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces. Qaddafi could not be found. This is the third successful coup since the beginning of the “Arab Spring.” Tunisia’s Pres. Ben Ali in Jan. and Egypt’s Pres. Hosni Mubarak in Feb. were the first leaders to be ousted.

2. Steve Jobs resigned from his post as CEO of Apple and will be succeeded by Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook. Jobs, 56, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2004 and received a liver transplant in 2009, has been on medical leave since Jan.

3. An earthquake that measured 5.8 on the Richter scale hit the East Coast on Aug. 23 with the epicenter in Virginia. According to the United States Geological Survey, it lasted 20 to 30 seconds. While it caused mass evacuations of office buildings and disrupted transportation, little damage was reported. This was the strongest earthquake to hit the East Coast since an earthquake  of 5.8 was reported in Massena, NY, in 1944.

4. The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28.  It cost $120 million and was designed by the ROMA Design Group based in San Francisco. Lei Yixin, a Chinese sculptor, created the statue of King.

5. Hurricane Irene hit the Eastern Seaboard, first making landfall in North Carolina on Aug. 27. before making landfall in New Jersey then New York. The Catskill Mountains and Mohawk Valley of New York and Vermont were particularly affected. Thirteen communities in Vermont, which suffered the worst flooding in centuries, were cut off. Forty-two people died, three million were left without electricity, and billions of dollars in damage are expected.

6. Yoshihiko Noda, former finance minister, is the new prime minister of Japan in the sixth change of leadership in five years in Japan. Former Prime Minister Naoto Kan was dodged by questions of his leadership after the earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis. Noda will face these problems in addition to ongoing social and economic ills in the world’s third-largest economy.

7. Scientists in at the University of Western Australia claim to have found the oldest fossils ever discovered at 3.4 billion years. These fossils are of microbes that lived on rock formations and would have lived by the sea.

8. The Indian Parliament agreed to demands for an independent anti-corruption agency on Aug. 27. This move was prompted by the 15-day hunger strike in the playground Ramlila Maiden of anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare, 74, who was supported by thousands in the streets, frustrated by the corruption of India’s government.

9. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund, resigned from his post on Aug. 29 due to the highly-publicized criminal case involving him and Nafissatou Diallo, a maid at the Sofitel Hotel. Sexual assualt charges against had been dismissed on the grounds of Diallo’s lack of credibility. Strauss-Kahn will be succeeded by Christine Lagarde.

10.  Atlanta Public Schools voted to waive legal privacy rights on Aug. 29 in an effort to cooperate with the criminal investigation of a widespread cheating scandal under now-retired Superintendent Beverly Hall. Since the investigations broke, 178 educators have been linked to cheating on standardized tests, and 44 schools have been implicated. This is the largest known systematic case of test-tampering in the history of American public schools.

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